San Juan is a small town in the province of Leyte. People rely on farming as a source of livelihood. As a 5th Class Municipality, there are limited opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment. Parents work hard to send their children to school with the hope of preparing a better future for them.
Amid the financial difficulties, most parents see to it that the children have some allowance in going to school. Children usually spend their daily allowance in transportation, food, and school needs. Because of the power of consumerism, most of the time, children spend everything, and nothing is left for savings. When the Aflatoun Child Social and Financial Education Program was introduced in the district, the school heads warmly welcomed it as a fitting program to make the children aware on the importance of savings and wise use of money. To equip and inspire the teachers in the integration of the program in the curriculum, a two-day teachers’ training was organized. It was followed by the program launching and organizing of the savings program in schools. After one month, 900 children opened their savings account. Their savings reached $3,429. Because of the fun lessons about savings, budgeting, and planning that the children experienced inside the classroom, they have been motivated to be more disciplined in handling money and wise in prioritizing needs from wants. The amount that the children saved gave them a sense of fulfillment and pride. It also inspired them to create their own business someday-- having learned about how savings, investment, and entrepreneurship are strongly linked.
The Aflatoun program provides life skills rooted in social and financial education. The K+12 program of the Philippine’s Department of Education relates well to the goals of Aflatoun. One of the salient points of the K+12 program is “Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino” (College and Livelihood Readiness, a 21st Century Life Skills), every high school graduate will be ready to go on different paths - may it be further education, employment, or entrepreneurship. The Aflatoun program promotes strong social and financial skills. The concepts of budgeting, planning, savings, entrepreneurship, and self-mastery are emphasized in the Aflatoun curriculum through fun and child-friendly format.
Currently, there are more than 9,000 rural school children that have opened their savings account, and learned about savings and investment. Continuous trainings of teachers are conducted to ensure the program’s sustainability in schools. Financial institutions are also tapped and equipped to provide child-friendly savings to children.
We owe our initial success to our donors and supporters who believe that children, when given the chance and motivation, can create a more financially-secure future for themselves. Your generosity helps children break the cycle of poverty. We are forever grateful.
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Youth Program Officer